Power Projects

High-impact systems upgrades required both top-notch leadership skills and sharp execution for success.

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Angie Vieira Barocas, Six Flags' senior vice president of entertainment and marketing, says she appreciates that approach. Vieira says she admires Israel's ability to stay focused and deliver a product that helps her and others do their jobs better.

"He has done a yeoman's job. We weren't in the 21st century in terms of technology, and he has managed through a lot of challenges," she says.

Israel notes that involving stakeholders from Day One helped get the cooperation necessary to make this project successful. He says he earned that cooperation by explaining the project plans, the reasons behind them and the anticipated benefits.

With 10 facilities done and work at another six planned for 2008 and 2009, Israel says it's clear that the new, consolidated infrastructure is delivering important benefits, including financial savings and improved availability.

The infrastructure is also allowing other business units to move forward by providing them with the tools they need for new initiatives, a point that aligns with the CEO's goals, Israel says.

Sheng Guo
Chief technology officer, New York State Unified Court System

  • Project at a glance: The goal was to install multiple Wi-Fi access points in the state's 250 courthouses. Guo works with 400 IT people spread out over 62 counties for a system that processes approximately 400,000 jurors through its facilities every year.

  • Signature leadership move: Sold upper management on a compelling business case that has exceeded expectations.

The New York State Unified Court System had a pilot Wi-Fi project in 2003 in which an outside company provided connectivity for a fee within select buildings. Guo, 43, says he saw the need to expand Wi-Fi — but not that particular pilot program.

Guo says he believes the state should provide Wi-Fi in courthouses for free as a public service. If the state continued to charge for Wi-Fi, he says, the initiative to expand would have failed.

"The courthouse is our building, and we already have a wire network there," says Guo. "To expand to Wi-Fi is easy, so I made my case to my bosses."

His proposal, made in 2004, set in motion a multiyear project that's putting Wi-Fi access points into the state's 250 courthouses.

Plans called for installing some 250 access points every year, starting with the jury assembly rooms in each building. Guo says it was a top priority to provide access to the 400,000 jurors who come through annually to perform their civic duty.

"They go through a lot of waiting, so Wi-Fi is a perfect thing for them," Guo explains.

Project plans have Wi-Fi going into attorney lounges, the public law libraries and high-traffic public areas, too.

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